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Heavy Rains Still Causing Problems For Lake Lanier, Chattahoochee

High water levels still can be found at Lake Lanier, shown in 2017, after weeks of heavy rain. Most of its beaches are closed to the public as the Army Corps of Engineers works to bring the water level down.
High water levels still can be found at Lake Lanier, shown in 2017, after weeks of heavy rain. Most of its beaches are closed to the public as the Army Corps of Engineers works to bring the water level down.
Credit Thomson200 / wikimedia commons
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After weeks of heavy rain, Lake Lanier is still 3 feet over its summer full pool level. Seventeen of the lake’s 18 beaches are closed to the public as a result.

Nick Baggett, natural resource manager with the Army Corps of Engineers at the lake, said even when the water goes down, the beaches probably won’t reopen soon.

“These beaches I’m referring to that we manage are manmade beaches where we haul white sand in. So there may be an extended period of repair time that we’ll need before we reopen those beaches,” he said.

To bring the water level down, the Army Corps has been releasing water from the lake into the Chattahoochee River continuously since Saturday morning. Baggett said there are no immediate plans to stop.

The Army Corps and the National Park Service both warn against swimming in the Chattahoochee until the dam closes because of dangerous flow rates.

While boating is allowed on the lake, Baggett said, “We advise extreme caution because if you’re swimming in the shoreline, those areas may have underwater hazards. You may dive into an area and strike your head on something that’s moved into the area due to flooding.”